Cherry blossoms in Japan are worth celebrating, and there’s nothing like a festival atmosphere to enhance the sakura viewing! Several of Tokyo’s top cherry blossom spots host annual festivals for a week or two around mid-bloom (usually falling over two weekends).
Festivals mean food, drinks, and lots of people. Remember, these events will be quieter during the week if crowds are not your jam.
When are the cherry blossoms blooming this year in Tokyo? Later than last year! The latest sakura forecast has first bloom in Tokyo on March 23 — and full bloom around March 30.
1. Ueno Cherry Blossom FestivalMid-March to early April
Swan boats and stalls
Ueno Park hosts one of the busiest Tokyo cherry blossom festivals, with a boating lake, plenty of food stalls, and of course, lots of cherry trees. There are more than 800 trees to admire and the ground will be covered with blue tarps for days in advance, so expect crowds and lots of fun.
You can go boating on the large pond either in a swan or traditional rowing boat, and stroll beneath the blossoms while snacking on festival food to your heart’s content.
2. Bokutei Cherry Blossom FestivalMarch 16 to April 7
Cruises and festive atmosphere
An excellent place for a hanami party, Sumida Park has over 600 cherry trees between Azumabashi Bridge and Sakurabashi Bridge. The residents of Tokyo have been enjoying the blossoms here for hundreds of years, so you can valiantly carry on the traditions in their honor.
Another time-honored way to enjoy the blossoms along the Sumida River is with a river cruise. These are available during the day or the evening and tend to book up fast.
3. Meguro River Cherry Blossom FestivalMid-March to early April
The river from Ikejiri-ōhashi Station to Meguro Station
Canal walk with lanterns
One of the most famous spots for hanami in Tokyo, the Meguro River has a canalside walk that will fill you with a newfound love for cherry blossoms — no matter how much you’ve seen them before.
Nakameguro is especially known for being a couples’ spot, so if you’re looking for a romantic evening stroll, this is the perfect one to pick. Although the cherry trees are beautiful during the day, they are particularly stunning in the early evening as the sun sets and they are illuminated.
4. Chiyoda Cherry Blossom FestivalLate March to early April
Kitanomaru Park and Chidorigafuchi Park
Imperial Palace and boats
Chidorigafuchi mixes history with beauty, as this section of the Imperial Palace moat bursts with cherry blossoms come spring. You can take a rowboat out onto the water, to see the sprays of blooms from beneath. On land, there is a 700m-long tunnel of some 250 Somei Yoshino trees, which are illuminated in the evenings throughout the festival.
The boats are out till late during the festival and there will be food stalls and snacks available, too.
5. Koganei Cherry Blossom FestivalLate March
Spacious park with performances
Koganei is a lot bigger than your regular Tokyo park, so has more room for picnic blankets and stages for live music. Expect a range of performances over the event period — which lasts for a busy two days. While the festival may be short, you can take a glance at the blooming cherry blossoms at any time during the season.
6. Edo Fukagawa Sakura FestivalMarch 16 to April 7
Boat rides and illuminations
Want to catch the view of cherry blossoms on a traditional boat? Head to the tranquil neighborhood of Monzen-Nakacho. The river there will be teeming with wasen (traditional Japanese boats) on offer for ¥1,000, no need to book in advance but you’ll need to get there early. If traditional ‘ain’t your thing, then consider a motorboat ride in the same spot. Apart from riding the river, you can also check out the illuminations, food stalls, and entertainment — all with a side of beautiful pink petals.
7. Midtown BlossomMarch 15 to April 14
Fancy picnics and skyscrapers
The Tokyo Midtown area is fancy all year round but it gets an extra coat of glamour during the sakura season. Take the chance to see cherry blossoms along a 200-meter-long avenue and special events in and outside of the nearby shopping complexes. There will be premium picnics on offer — for a premium price — and the cherry trees will be lit up when the sun goes down.
8. Rikugien Gardens: A Mystical Weeping CherryMarch 16 to 24
A cherry blossom tree with a twist
You’ve probably seen the typical cherry tree, but have you seen a weeping one? Rikugien Gardens holds a night-time illumination event every year to brighten up its giant cherry blossom tree. You can visit both at night and in the day. Warning: tickets after dusk are more expensive.
|Advance sales: ¥900
|At the door: ¥1,100
9. Ark Hills Cherry Blossom FestivalLate March to early April
Spain-zaka, Ark Hills
Perfect for an evening stroll
For a quieter cherry blossom viewing experience, you may want to saunter down the hill Spain-zaka near Ark Hills. They aren’t well-known or as popular as other places — mainly because there’s nowhere to place a picnic mat — but they are still spectacular. The area will have a festival for around three days during the season, but the street will be lit up throughout the flowering period.
10. Nihonbashi Sakura FestivalMarch 15 to April 7
Illuminations and unique menus
While you won’t find rows and rows of cherry trees in Nihonbashi, you will find cherry blossom-themed installations and illuminations, as well as unique menu items at local restaurants. The festival is called Sakura Fes Nihonbashi and lasts for most of the flowering period.
Bonus: Hadano Sakura FestivalMarch 22 to April 9
Hadano is around an hour from central Tokyo in Kanagawa Prefecture, but it’s worth the trip for the 6.2 km promenade (Hadano Sakura Michi) featuring — you guessed it — cherry trees. There are hundreds of them and even more near Hadano Culture Park. During the festival, these trees will be lit up at night. If you feel like a bit of a walk, there will be illuminations at the top of Mount Kōbō to its neighbor Mount Gongen.
When is the best time to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo?
Cherry blossoms are hard to predict and last only around two weeks but usually start blooming from mid-March to early April. Festivals tend to coincide with predicted blooming dates, so make sure to check our current Tokyo cherry blossom forecast for the latest updates. For elsewhere in Japan, check our other forecast.
Where is the best place to see the cherry blossoms in Tokyo?
Tokyo is large and cherry blossom spots are bountiful — check out our full list of Tokyo Sakura Spots if you don’t believe us — but the best places to see blossoms are in Ueno Park, Yoyogi Park, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Inokashira Park, and Meguro River (to name a few).
What’s the most famous cherry blossom festival in Tokyo?
The most famous cherry blossom festival in Tokyo is either the Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival or the Chiyoda Cherry Blossom Festival. The former is famous for its long path with arches of sakura overhead and the latter for the iconic shot of swan boats on the Chidorigafuchi Moat.
Where is the best cherry blossom festival in Japan?
If you don’t mind traveling across Japan to get your cherry blossom fix, then there are plenty of areas that have incredible festivals with more space (and trees) than Tokyo. Our top picks include Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival in the north of Japan, Nijo Castle Sakura Festival in Kyoto, and Fuji-Kawaguchiko Cherry Blossom Festival in Yamanashi.
While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Post first published in March 2018. Last updated January 19, 2024.
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